THE STORYTELLERS

LORNA WRIGHT

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Lorna Wright

Lorna Wright

 

OLEV MUSKA: And what was it like going to school in the old days?

LORNA WRIGHT: I always enjoyed it and I have given a few talks … many years ago about the school at North Strathfield … they used to bring me in to talk about it. But we used to have lovely teachers - a lot of them used to live around here. You know, we had a lovely one with …

OLEV: So, again, it was like a community …

LORNA: Yes, yes, because the boys department … separate from the girls …

OLEV: Was there anything in particular that you remember from the school days … any special occasion or event or …

LORNA: Yes, well, we … 1938 - which was the special year - they had a big production at the Showground (and I have got the program, because when I want to try and find things I can’t). But North Strathfield School, if you were 5th or 6th class, you kind of went into it. Then all the High Schools went into it too. But at North Strathfield School we were Sturt’s Desert Peas – all the girls. We had to do a special dance …

OLEV: That would have looked grand…

LORNA: … but then the boys were Lorikeets! But my poor mum, she was trying to make this paper thing. They were beautiful, what you had to do (and I have got … I did have some … only black and white photographs of those). But the boys were so colourful! And then of, course, when you eventually went to one practice in at the Showground … and the next week, of course, it was on. Well then the higher schools - the Secondary Schools - they were all the industries, like wheat and … what else … we had a Captain Cook. Yes, it was a very, very big production.

OLEV: Like the Royal Easter Show …

LORNA: It was, yes. So things like that went on in … that was 1938, so it was … yeah … 88 and 50, so it was 150th, was it?

OLEV: You would have seen some huge contrasts between then and now.

LORNA: Yes.

OLEV: Is there anything that you lament from the past that you wish was still around and isn’t?

LORNA: No … I can … my father was on Council in the wartime … he … in 1942 / 43. He was Mayor and in ’47, I think. But they were ... that was when we had the little Council Chambers - original Council Chambers - over there on Burwood Road where there is now a petrol station … yes … and my mother used to have to ... people used to come to my mother to get either navy wool or khaki wool to knit for the armed forces. Yes, I did meet a few ladies - not for about 10 years now - they used to say, “Do you remember me, I used to come and get wool from your mother?” So wartime was a bit of a difficult …

OLEV: Difficult? Was it also unifying, did you find?

LORNA: Oh, Very much so. Very much so. It was. Well, they even had Mayoral Balls because that was to raise money and they had to service to raise money for the Australian Compass Fund and you always had a big … sign up with how our money was going to reach whatever target we had to meet. Yes, yes.

OLEV: So everyone was pulling together.

LORNA: Oh, they were. They were.

OLEV: And that’s maybe something that’s not as apparent these days.

LORNA: No, no. And, see, Concord Hospital was built in 1942, around about then, so everyone used to go down there once they got the servicemen in and assist there too. Yeah, so that could keep you busy!

Strathfield North Public School 1933

Strathfield North Public School 1933

 

BACKGROUND

In response to community consultation, a number of local residents were interviewed and recorded. The sessions took place in December 2012 and February 2013 at Concord Library.

A short excerpt from each resident appears on this website. Together, they form a cross-section of insights into the wonderful community that is of and around the North Strathfield area.

The full interviews will be archived and available for borrowing at the City of Canada Bay Council Library Services.


>>> There is more to our story. If you can assist in filling in the gaps and/or providing photos, please email us